Hardly a Generation of Thinkers

Promotional Bucket Hats

promo bucket hatSomething disturbing has occurred in the development of children’s toys….it’s a scourge pandering to short attention spans and parental laziness.

When I was a boy, I developed a close relationship with my toys in that I spent many hours learning how to have the most fun with each of them. Some were inherently hard to fathom like a Steam Engine kit or my chemistry kit which frightened the life out of my parents when they realised I had all the ingredients to manufacture Dynamite!

But apart from the attraction to destructive toys, I also enjoyed games and pastimes which involved inventing and constructing – no small leap then to the career I enjoyed in Civil Engineering. Mecano and Lego were my inspration and I created eloborate dwellings for my pet mice which were powered by the nearby steam engine running an alternator for electricity – all fantastic stuff.

lego-toyConsider then my dismay upon buying my daughters sets of 21st century Lego for Xmas….do you know how hard it is to find a bucket of plain Lego pieces?! 6 years ago you couldn’t buy them, period. Now, as child #2 has reached that recommended age on the packs, we’ve re-found the product and “invested in it”…except that each and every pack of Lego these days has one solitary purpose and that is to complete a pre-determined shape – build a fighter jet, a hair salon, a riding stable, a Darth Vadar character…and when that is made, well, you’ve followed the instructions and the object of the game is finalised… It stifles creativity and is hardly the building blocks of a future generation of thinkers.

So, what does this rant have to do with promotional bucket hats? Not much but I feel that if children wore hats and played outside with a big collection of blocks, they’d start actually making fun for themselves instead of some prescribed activity devised by a money making corporation. Rant Over.